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Five Tips for Leading with Respect & Authority
You’re a female professional in an executive position, but you lead a large team where no one is taking you seriously.
As a woman who led a team of 75 employees as Zynga’s youngest director of product at 25 years old and who is now CEO of Fort Mason Games, I understand. I also learned a few tips that can help fellow female executives lead teams with more authority and respect.
Here’s how you can own your team in five simple steps:
1. Run No-Fuss Meetings: People watch you for cultural cues. If you start meetings late or re-cap for late arrivals, then they’ll come late. If you don't prepare an agenda, then they’ll think it’s okay to be unprepared, as well. Run your meetings with the type of behavior you expect from your team.
2. Don’t Set Goals Just to Set Goals: KPIs can motivate employees, but never set them just for the sake of doing so. Otherwise you'll incentivize them to reach goals that don’t make sense for your team’s overall success. Track data and metrics that indicate the long-term health of your business.
3. Communicate Across All Team Levels: As teams grow, it’s easy to start only communicating with your direct reports. Taking the time to relay information to cross-functional and different-level colleagues eliminates disconnect and aligns the whole team to same objectives.
4. Pre-Sell Innovative Ideas: Business decisions, even around an amazing idea, don’t happen quickly when a lot of stakeholders are involved. Plant the seeds ahead of time. Talk informally with key decision-makers to learn if the idea might work or if it needs polishing before the big meeting.
5. Befriend Other Company Leaders: When your team sees strong relationships with other leaders in the company, they’ll know you’ve got a powerful backing, and they’ll follow suit with their own respect.
– Kate Gorman
About the Author: Gorman, who led a team of 75 employees as the youngest director of product for American social game developer Zynga at only 25 years old, is now the founder, CEO and president of San Francisco, CA-based Fort Mason Games, fortmasongames.com. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in computer science from University of California, Berkeley.
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